Contractions started at midnight on the 18th. I looked at my clock and couldn’t believe it. I would likely give birth to our baby boy the same day his father was born, 46 years ago! P and I had talked about how amazing it would be for them to share a birthday. We just didn’t think it would happen.
I labored the first three hours by myself, not wanting to wake P up until I was sure THIS WAS IT. By 3am, I nudged him and said, “Happy birthday babe, we’re going to have our baby today.” Shocked and sleepy he rose up quickly... and there we went.
Our daughter Y was in our bed, of course, and we didn’t want her to get up. So we went into the living room. The contractions got pretty strong within an hour so we called the midwife. But she heard me go through a contraction and thought we had time. Told me to rest as much as possible and call her back when the contractions were closer together.
The next two hours flew by. We went into our bedroom because I kept having to go to the bathroom and it was a closer trip to walk. I prayed Y wouldn’t wake up. The pain was getting tough. I felt like throwing up twice. I got hot and then cold.
I sat on our new rocking chair for a long time and P says in between contractions I actually snored. I tried to relax as much as possible and breathe deeply. My back was tense. My uterus made me lose sense of everything so often I didn’t know if I could go on. Nothing else mattered except getting through each wave of pain.
Then I somehow told myself I could do it. I got an internal injection of confidence. P was also determined, a strong anchor by my side. He massaged my back in ways that seemed to be the perfect remedy for my pain. I did bark at him a few times. One of those times it was to tell him to f’ing stop timing the contractions. They were REALLY close!
At 6:30, Y woke up. I explained to her little F was coming. That he was ready to meet her and that I would be making some noises to help him come out.
We called my mom by now, and she came to get her.
We also called the midwife to tell her we were ready to have our baby.
At this point, I laid on the floor, on my right side, with a pillow on my head and one between my legs. Here is where I traveled to a place of the most pure raw emotion I have ever experienced. Every four minutes, I would feel a punch coming through my throat, down to my bottom, pushing with such strength, I could only fight it with an animalistic grunt. But each time, right after that, a blanket of comfort and whiteness let me relax to such a degree I was limp and calm. I didn’t want to change positions. P held my hand.
I had sat on the toilet on and off throughout the labor, and by about 7:30, I knew I had to go back there to continue opening up. I also screamed at my husband, “Where the f-ck is the midwife? I’m about to have the baby.”
While on the toilet, I heard a POP and I promise I thought it was the baby’s head. I looked down and it was my water, I imagine.
I had been leaking for days, but it must have officially broken at that point.
“Call my sister, call someone, I’m telling you this is it”, I told P. He called my sister. My contractions continued. Right when P hung up with my sister, I told P I had to push. Something opened up in me... this time, I felt F’s head.
“No one’s here babe, and I feel his head. What do
“We’re having this baby. No one’s coming. You
have to do this.” He said.
I grabbed on to his neck with all of my might. I looked up to the ceiling and cried out to the Virgin Mary to give me strength.
I knew the next push would bring our baby out.
I waited those precious minutes until the next contraction. We were both standing in our bathroom, I squatted, hanging from P’s neck, and I pushed.
Our baby’s head was out. It was really out. Awe.
I touched it and talked to him, welcoming him and praying we would be ok.
“Do you see him, do you see him?” I asked P.
“Do we call 911?”
“Get some towels. I have to kneel. Do I force him
out? What do we do?” I asked a million questions.
Right then, little F started to cry, his head out, and body inside me still... hanging
between two worlds.
“You’ve got to push him out.”
I lost all fear and knew there was no choice.
“Ok, I have to wait until the next contraction”.
The contraction came. Push. And as I did, I grabbed our son’s body out of me and onto my chest.
P and I shared a look that I know I have never
seen in his eyes nor he in mine.
“You did it” he said.
There was a pool of red LIFE, BIRTH, NATURE at our feet. The umbilical chord was still attached. I suctioned his nose and mouth. P handed me blankets. We became a team, sure and efficient. But we also wondered if we should call 911. Then, we knew, NO. We had our son. He was breathing. He was crying. But he was just fearfully purple.
We talked to him, remembering how important it was for babies to hear their parents voice. I prayed. I cleaned him off, tried to get him to nurse. We got our midwife on the phone. She told us to make sure he was warm, to continue doing what we were doing.
My mom and sister got there. We all sat on the bathroom floor, together trying to get F to nurse and get some color. My sister encouraged me to let it all out. I was so afraid. I cried out loud. I acknowledged how shocking this all was. And suddenly, F stopped crying, he latched on, and we began to see his body change colors. Miraculous. I had given birth. No one else did it for me. My husband and I did it with God's help. We made it. We were healthy. We had a son. Slippery and pure, in our arms.
What I’ve learned from this enlightened journey is that there is truly a plan from above. That we posses an inner strength much greater than we give ourselves credit for. That we will not stop living our lives in fear until we give birth to who we really are and want to be, regardless of who everyone else WANTS us to be. That God is grand. Welcome little F.
To follow my mushy, messy, magical stories of motherhood, you can read my daily blog at www.mariasotolongo.com
Amazing! I just had my first homebirth and it was close to being unassisted but looking back I know we could have done it if it needed to be like that. Congratulations to you!
thx jd. after what we went through... i know this is possible for all of us!!! congrats to u 2!! :)